Aegina in Greece
Aegina has a large population for being such a small island. Aegina has about 13,050 inhabitants and the island's surface is 77 km2. The main village is Aegina town with a population of about 6.870 people. Highest mountain is Mount Ellanio and measures 532 meters above sea level.
Aegina is a relatively quiet island with a rich Greek everyday life. Many Athenians change the urban stress for a weekend on Aegina. If you go to Aegina as a tourist you can do the opposite: it only takes one hour by ferry to go to Athens.
Aegina is famous for its temple of Aphaia which lies above the tourist resort of Agia Marina. Aegina is also known for its pistachio nuts, they are considered the best in all of Greece. There grows pistachios on many places around the island. From a distance they look like olive trees, but on a closer look one can see that it is pistachio nuts that grows, and nothing else. Pistachio nuts in all its forms are available, for example, in Aegina town.
Aegina is among others known for the good pistachio nuts.
TRAVEL TO AEGINA
Take a plane to Athens and continue by ferry. The ferries to Aegina run in shuttle service from Athens' seaport town of Piraeus. Aegina also have very good boat connection to islands Agistri, Poros, Hydra, Spetses and the Methana of Peloponnese.
GETTING AROUND IN AEGINA
Buses runs almost on the whole island. You find cars and mopeds for hire in Aegina town and in Agia Marina. Prices are above average. Just like in Spetses, there are many horse drawn taxis in the town of Aegina.
The seafront promenade in Aegina town.
VILLAGES IN AEGINA
The capital of Aegina is conveniently also called Aegina. It is an attractive town that is full of life all year round. A comparison with Athens is not entirely wrong, though Aegina town of course is much, much smaller. The seafront promenade is long and filled to the brim with tavernas, bars and cafes.
In the evenings the seafront is teeming with activity; tavernas and cafes are filled up quickly by guests that are full of expectations. It is enjoyable to sit down for an ouzo and to have a look at the lively street life before you continue for a nice dinner on one of the tavernas.
My favourite taverna is called Maridaki and is located slightly to the right by the seafront (if you have your nose towards the town). Behind the seafront there are innumerable alleys spreading out; here are small shops of all kinds, including a fish and vegetable market. If you long to go for a swim, there is a small beach to the left (still have your nose towards the town) of the port, just before the archaeological excavations in Kolona, the namne om the beach is Avra beach.
Tavernas in Perdika.
About 10 km south of Aegina town is Perdika which is a fishing village with many fish tavernas and cafes. From here you can go by boat to the uninhabited islet of Moni which is just outside.
Another pretty fishing village is Souvala 10 km east of Aegina town. Also here there are many tavernas to choose from. The village of Vagia is surrounded by pine trees and inspiring landscapes, Vagia is perfect for those who seek peace and serenity. Hiking trails that lead from the sandy beach to the Ancient Temple of Aphaia and hills that are covered with pine-forests.
Souvala 10 km east of Aegina town.
BEACHES IN AEGINA
The best and most popular beach lies in the tourist resort Agia Marina, on the east side of the island. The beach i Agia Marina is extremely shallow and it's perfect for small children. Adults must go far out in the water to get the water over the knees.
Agia Marina in Aegina.
Above the beach and along the main street, there is an abundance of tavernas and bars. Along the main street there are also plenty of shops, mostly souvenir shops, but also clothing stores and supermarkets. In short there is everything you imagine to find in Agia Marina, it is after all the largest tourist resort on Aegina.
Marathonas - halfway between Aegina town and Perdika - is another fairly good beach. For the swimmers that are looking for a quite sandy beach, away from the crowds, the beach of Tourlos would be a good choice. Tourlos beach is after the picturesque fishing village of Vagia, which has its own sandy beach. Tourlos was chosen by the Germans in the WW2 as the part with the most strategic significance.
SIGHTS IN AEGINA
You should not miss the Temple of Aphaia, above the tourist resort Agia Marina, when you are on Aegina. It is one of the best preserved Doric temples in Greece, quite similar to the temple of Parthenon on the Acropolis of Athens, but not as big of course.
Temple of Aphaia.
It is also worth to see the church of Agios Nektarios, especially for the unusual architecture, reminiscent of Agia Sophia, the former Greek church in Istanbul. Greeks from far and near go on a pilgrimage to pay a visit at the grave of Saint Nektarios. They come to pray to him or ask for his blessing, it is said that prayers are often heard. Nektarios died in 1920 and was canonised 1961. The monastery is situated on the road to Agia Marina, about 10 minutes drive from Aegina town.
ACCOMMODATION IN AEGINA
Most people choose to stay in Aegina town where there are a wide selection of pensions and hotels. If you go to Aegina in the weekend, it might be hard to find somewhere to stay since most rooms are booked by Athenians that go to Aegina for the weekend. If you want to stay near a beach, choose to stay in Agia Marina, or in Vagia.
Three good hotels in Aegina town:
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